Lindsey Graham photo

Statement by Senator Lindsey Graham on Charleston

June 20, 2015

Our nation needs to come together as a whole and pray for the victims of the tragic shooting in Charleston. This weekend, I have been in South Carolina praying with my friends and neighbors. I ask you to do the same.

There can be no doubt that the shooting on Wednesday night was racially motivated and signals to all of us that the scars of our history are still with us today. Throughout our country, we still have much to do in the name of equality. I want to talk about those issues on the campaign trail. I want to find ways to bring our country together, to work with democrats and republicans, and everyone of any racial, ethnic, religious or political background to solve the massive challenges we face. This is something I don't just talk about, it is something I have done and will continue to do.

This murderer said he wanted to start a race war; he has failed miserably. In Charleston this weekend, I saw a community coming together. I saw people seeking solace in what they share together, not in what makes them different.

I'm from South Carolina. My state, like our nation, has a difficult history of race relations. We have tried to address it through compromise and working together. There is no doubt we have made great progress, but Charleston reminds us there is still much to do. The shooting was a tragic event and the fact that one person could act with such hatred and disregard for human life sickens me. We must learn from this disaster and we must all strive to do better in the memory of the nine victims. Let us ensure South Carolina, and our nation, is always represented by those nine, not by that one.

At an appropriate time, we will move forward to have a discussion on a variety of fronts about what will make us stronger as a nation and what solutions need to be found to achieve that goal. But now, please join me in continuing to pray for the victims, for the citizens of Charleston, of my home state, and of our nation. Let's find the strength and wisdom, together, to make sure this never happens again.

Lindsey Graham, Statement by Senator Lindsey Graham on Charleston Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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